Brief interview with Alberto Clement and Michele Bajetti, who planned, designed, and supervised the construction of the new Bike Beats Trails.
Hello Alberto, since you have a lot of experience in the construction and management of MTB trails, could you better explain the characteristics of FLOW tracks?
Yes, of course. If you want to describe a flow-trail, the key words are fluidity and continuity.
This means that when you ride on this type of track, you can feel a fluidity and safety that will thrill bikers of all kinds.
So flow trails aren't boring for expert bikers, are they?!
Absolutely not; here it's not the adrenaline of speed or the constant risk of the downhill sections that give you a thrill, but the constant well-designed parabolic curves and ups and downs.
Michele, how did you get started on the project?
The first step was walking; Alberto and I walked downhill from Piz Sorega countless times, looking for the right flow line.
What do you need to look out for or be careful of when doing surveys?
When you decide to create this kind of trail, you have to follow a few rules: not too sloping, mainly smooth soil with no roots, and a design that allows fluidity.
To find the ideal line, you have to define the area, view and review, as Michele and I did.
Once you were ready, how did you proceed?
We started the construction in autumn 2017. Normally when one thinks of an MTB track, or rather about constructing one, it seems a fairly easy task.
I could never have imagined how much work it would involve and how complex it would be. But with the right people, continuous dialogue, sharing difficulties and looking for solutions, all the problems have been solved effectively.
How many people participated in the construction?
At the beginning, in autumn 2017, we started with a team of 3 people, while this year because of the large amount of snow and the large number of meters still to be covered, it was decided to include a second team, likewise composed of three people.
Alberto, since you don't live in Alta Badia, for most of the time you obviously were away from the construction site, was that a problem?
I wouldn't say so; once I had explained the theoretical construction to the teams a bit, they went ahead with the construction with excavator, the necessary equipment, and a close-knit work team - I think the latter is the main thing.
Within the team, there must be someone who is an expert in mountain biking because they have to see and understand what could go well and what could go wrong (dangers, exaggerated slopes, and fluidity of the track).
Unfortunately, during construction everything doesn't always go as it should; there are variables in the subsoil that you aren't aware of until the moment of excavation (rock, water sources, etc.) and the team has to be able to react in time, know how to make decisions, and find the right solutions while keeping to the project and costs.
Having seen other Bikepark sites, do you think they did a good job?
As for the route to San Cassiano, they did a good job, clean and streamlined. In the second part, the Bike Beats team managed to find optimal solutions despite the "slope" problem. I think it will be a success and will lead to the development of other trails.
Michele, what was it like leading this project?
It was an unforgettable experience; I was entrusted with this great opportunity and responsibility to lead this project. In my opinion, this type of infrastructure has been missing for a long time in Alta Badia. There's not much to say; MTB, combined with the descent and the mountain, is the future of tourist resorts in the summer. The work that came up, working with the team in the office, with the construction teams, the decisions that had to be made, the problems that had to be tackled, have not always been easy, but together they can be overcome! I hope that the final product will appeal to many, because lots of people have put their hearts and souls into it. Enjoy the Bike Beats, everyone!